Deb’s note: This was posted before our server crash this week and had over a dozen very thoughtful responses. I apologize all the comments were lost in the move. Feel free to add your two cents once again.
I work hard be taken seriously as a blogger. Not a female blogger. Not a mommy blogger. But a blogger. I want people to read my words and find what I say useful. I don’t want to be seen as a gender or a role.
That’s why I’m always annoyed when “top blogger” lists come out. Not because I don’t feel top bloggers don’t deserve recognition but because inevitably folks start wondering why there are no women on the lists and then top lists of “female bloggers” come out. So there are “top bloggers” and “top female bloggers” but does it really matter?
I’m not a massive feminist. I enjoy the company of men. I even think I can learn from many of them. Though I think women have to work harder at this to be taken seriously, I like to think men can learn something from us too. I hope that something isn’t that we’ll all be dressing pretty for all the upcoming blogging conferences.
Which is why this post at BlogHer kind of got my jeans in a gather.
The post, entitled “Tide and Tim Gunn Want to Know What You’re Wearing at BlogHer This Year” touched a nerve. I mean, isn’t BlogHer supposed to breaking down barriers for women bloggers? Aren’t they supposed to be helping to drive away this silliness? How are we supposed to be taken seriously when we have to worry over whether or not we’re flying to Chicago with the right essentials in our suitcases?
Now, I do get it. Sponsorship is important. I’m all about corporate sponsorships. I think it’s terrific that more brands are reaching out to bloggers. I even get that we need to promote our corporate sponsors with advertisements, contests and heavy promotion. This doesn’t bother me. I’ve put my head together with others for many-a brand promotion strategy session. I would think though, it would be poor marketing to have a “what are you wearing” promotion among women who wish to be taken seriously. Yes, we can look fashionable and should look our best. Is this what we want to take away from BlogHer though? Laundry, fashion and Tim Gunn?
A couple of years ago when I was contributing to Performancing, we put together an end of the year awards promotion. The team wanted to do a “Best Looking Female Blogger” and “Best Looking Male Blogger” category. I was vehemently opposed. “Blogging isn’t about looks” I told them. “You’ll set us back years.” Eventually they agreed.
BlogHer is out of my budget this year, but I assure you, if I was going the last thing on my mind would be what everyone else is wearing. I want to learn. I want to network. I want to enjoy and discuss. I don’t want wonder if I’m wearing the right shoes with the right dress or if I’m accessorized correctly.
I’m sorry BlogHer. I heart you, I truly do, but you didn’t win me over with this one. If you want the women who blog to be taken seriously make it less about the clothes and more about the content. You’ll win every time.